2017 Hyundai Ioniq: Dark-Horse Competitor For Prius AND Bolt EV?

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

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The new 2016 Toyota Prius is now arriving at dealers all over the country, and while gas prices--and hence hybrid sales--are down, it's expected to boost sales of the quintessential hybrid, now ranked at 52 or 56 mpg combined.

Meanwhile, anticipation is building over the first deliveries of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the 200-mile electric car starting at $37,500, which could hit dealers as early as this December.

But another new model will follow both cars in hot pursuit, one that hasn't received nearly as much attention yet.

DON'T MISS: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Electric Models To Be Sold In 50 States

That's the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq, the subcompact hatchback that its Korean maker intends to offer in both hybrid and battery-electric versions.

The Ioniq is a dedicated model, meaning there's no gasoline-only equivalent, and it rides on underpinnings adapted from those of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

2017 Hyundai Elantra

2017 Hyundai Elantra

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To date, no maker has offered a single vehicle with either fully electric or conventional hybrid powertrains.

Honda, however, has indicated it will offer three versions of its upcoming Clarity mid-size sedan, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, a large battery only, or a plug-in hybrid drivetrain respectively.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited First Drive Video

Now we know more about the schedule for the 2017 Ioniq, which will make its debut at the New York Auto Show late next month.

Hyundai said during its Elantra drive event last week that it would hold media drives for both the 2017 Ioniq Hybrid and the 2017 Ioniq EV in the fourth quarter of this year.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

Enlarge Photo

That would customarily indicate that the cars will arrive at dealers sometime during the first quarter of 2017, with the Ioniq EV likely arriving in California and a few other states before the national distribution its maker has promised.

But as always, Hyundai has ambitious plans. It has said it expects to sell 77,000 Ioniq Hybrids globally during that car's first year on the market.

MORE: Hyundai And Kia Target # 2 Slot In Green Vehicles By 2020 (Nov 2014)

We won't know any of the specs for either Ioniq model, including fuel economy and battery range, for another seven weeks.

And it's unclear whether the New York debut will include both versions or just the Ioniq Hybrid.

But if Hyundai is to accomplish its goal of selling more green cars by 2020 than any other maker besides Toyota, it will have to move fast.

The 2017 Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq EV will join hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan that are already on sale.

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